Posts Tagged ‘art every day’

Cool Things I Saw This Week

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Robot hats are causing quite the stir.  I think some kids wear them all day long!

A colleague dropped off a newspaper clipping on my desk.  It appears there are some yarn-bombers around town!  It’s not me.  I wish I had enough time to do it though!

Another intriguing crafting idea that I saw was a decoupage project done on church chairs.  Some are just pictures, from cards, magazines, and old calendars I think.

And others have words of motivation…

Enchantment is the Essence, Let Inspiration Flourish

or even poetry.

Cooking and cleaning
Can wait til tomorrow
Cause babies grow up
I’ve learned to my sorrow
So quiet down cobwebs
And dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby
And babies don’t keep.

It’s a great idea for what to do with old chairs and old magazines.

Ruffles

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Last week was a busy, stressful one.  The clock change, deadlines at work, stress about an upcoming robotics tournament, fighting off a cold, all contributed to me losing quite a bit of sleep.  I saw 3:00AM roll past 3 days in a row!  To destress I ended up spending a few minutes here and there knitting ruffles….or actually one rather large ruffle!

It’s long enough to be a scarf!  I started, without any real idea of how to make the kind of ruffles I had in my mind.  I knew I wanted one long corkscrew of ruffle going around and around a hat.  Easier said than done!

From my limited knowledge of sewing, I knew that material will gather up if one edge is made smaller than the other.  So I cast on, until my circular needle was comfortably full–so many stitches that I didn’t really want to count.  Then I increased in each one of those stitches (to make the ruffle).  My needles were now very crowded.  *I cast off about 20 stitches, then purled to the end of the row, and then knit back to where I cast off. *  I repeated the part between the stars until I had no more stitches left.  The ruffle is very thin at one end…

…and thicker on the other end.

The poor picture quality was due to post midnight photography with dim lighting.

I was eager to put the ruffles on a hat, so this morning, I knit them onto the hat as it was being constructed.  Again, there’s no real recipe for how to do this.  I knit together 4 stitches of ruffle with 4 stitches of hat each row.  Once I started to decrease, for the crown of the hat, the ruffles got really close together.  I think it looks like a rose from the top right now.  That’s because the ruffles are all curling up.

To fix the curling issue, I’ve decided on a rather tedious plan.  I’m knitting an i-cord border to the outside edge of the ruffle.  It will add weight, and hopefully also add tension to the outside stitches on the cast off edge.

It’s working!  But there’s still a long way to go.

I’m glad that right now, this is the most pressing issue of my day.

Daylight Savings Ends

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Clocks got set back an hour all over Canada today.  That means we got an extra hour to sleep….or in my case, make a ridiculously large pompom. 

My day was spent doing odd jobs around my apartment mostly to procrastinate from getting caught up on work.  For my occasional breaks, I worked on the 2nd hat of the weekend.  I’m really enjoying knitting on large needles–I think these are 6mm circulars, so these hats seem to almost knit themselves!

The goal is to have a hat on the head of every member of the robotics team I mentor.  These rather crazy hats have helped us define our spirit and sense of fun.  They really do make us a “close-knit” team.

I think a hat with ruffles is next.  I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to do it yet though.

Art From India

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

My day began when I woke up rather unexpectedly at 4:30 AM.  I spent an hour or two very productively getting paperwork done, and crossing things off my very long “to do” list.  I then got caught up in a fun stripey hat that I had been knitting on and off for the last 2 days.  I have no progress pictures, because at 4:30 in the morning I just don’t think of finding my camera!

Finished Product

It was concert day today, and I’ve not been feeling 100% lately, so I took it easy and knit/slept a lot.  I was able to save up enough energy to sing well tonight, and I was also able to bring a completed hat to show some other knitters in the choir.

For sale at the concert were goodies from a local group called Calcutta Rescue Canada, a group that raises funds to help in schools and hospitals in India.   The sale continues all weekend at 193 Earl Street, so go check it out on Sunday Nov.7th from 11AM-3:00PM. 

Their products are beautiful, unique, reasonably priced, and benefit disadvantaged people in India.

Nature’s Art

Friday, November 5th, 2010

These days I have to keep reminding myself to stop and take a moment to stop and smell the roses.  There’s frost now though, and not so many roses to smell.  Instead, I find myself stopping and watching the clouds, breathing deeply, and relaxing–if only for a minute.

Peaceful Evening

The same sky can look so different from one moment to the next, in morning and in evening…sometimes serene and sometimes quite ominous.

Storm Front

Today I didn’t get the chance to look up at the sky much.  The time hasn’t changed yet, so street lights were still on this dark cold rainy morning, and when I finally got home after a long day at work, it was still raining and grey….so I rushed inside to eat a warm dinner and hibernate for the evening.

Without time to knit today, I’m feeling a bit antsy.  To calm myself, and take a break from work, I’ve searched through some photographs that I’ve taken of October skies, and posted them here.  This has been my skywatching moment, and yours too!

Go have a look outside.  Stand in the sunshine (if you are lucky enough to have it).  Breathe, and enjoy nature’s ever-changing canvas in the sky.

What’s a Veena?

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

If you are in the Kingston area and would like to see a veena and hear it played, there is a demonstration concert/workshop about Indian music being presented at Sydenham Street United Church on November 6th from 2pm-3pm.  That evening you can also attend a very interesting concert called “The Silk Road”.

The Silk Road

November 6, 2010, 7:30 pm.

Cantabile’s launches its season with a fascinating musical journey along the celebrated ‘Silk Road’—an enchanting passage that will feature many musical surprises from the classical traditions of Eastern Europe to the exotic sounds of the Far East. Guest artist, Lakshmi Ranganathan, India’s ‘Queen of the Veena’ will join the choirs. The evening includes the premiere of a new work by Juno award-winner, Marjan Mozetich.

Choirs to perform: Children, Men, Women, Young Women and Young Men.

My artistic pursuit today was music.  I have been a member of the Cantabile Choirs of Kingston for almost 15 years, and each November we kick off our season with a concert.  That means, the first week in November is rather busy, and rehearsals are intense.  These last few rehearsals are when everything comes together, harmonies gel, and we get to hear our songs with the instruments that will accompany us in the show.

image source: Lakshmi Ranganathan's website

Several songs that we sing will be performed with a veena.  I’d never heard of a veena before September when we started learning our music–to my surprise we have a world renowned veena player that lives in our community.  Lakshmi has played her veena all over the world, winning numerous awards including the President of India award for the veena at age 15.

It’s going to be a great show.  There are still tickets available.  Get yours before they are gone!

Another Day Another Hat

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

I’m on a roll these days.  This is hat number 5 that I’ve knit in the past 10 days.  I sit back and marvel at this fact, knowing that I have also done a lot of other things in the past 10 days.  I believe that knitting brings balance for me.  It provides time in an otherwise busy and sometimes stressful day to let my fingers create something and let my mind wander.

There are some weeks when I don’t get the opportunity to pick up my needles at all.   Those weeks, I end up focused on deadlines and the endless list of small tasks that must get done.  Efficiency decreases….motivation decreases….frustration increases….until I give myself a time out and start another project.

Hats are nice and small.   They are portable, and progress speeds up as you approach the crown.  I really enjoyed making this hat because the colours are fun, and the texture is so great to photograph.  I am excited to try this in different (non-robotic) colourways.

As a finishing touch I embroidered a glow-in-the-dark robot onto the hat, along with our team number (2809).  These are the trademarks of a hat for K-Botics.  I think my next hat will have a pocket…or ears…it will definitely be unique, that’s for sure!  Tomorrow I’ll cast on and see what happens.

Art Every Day Month Begins

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Last November, when I was a fairly new blogger, I stumbled upon an online challenge for the month.  The challenge involves spending time every day creating art of some kind.  Leah, who runs the challenge, has gathered a real following!  If you want to join, you can sign up here.

Last year’s challenge kept me focused on doing something creative every day.  I knit mostly–no real surprise there–but it’s fun to look at a work in progress every day and watch it grow.  It was also interesting to look at my knitting in a more artistic way.  There are many textures and colours and shadows…and the close up view often looks quite different from the project as a whole.

It’s a good feeling to rush home after work, seek out the dying light of day to photograph my art-in-progress and share it with a community of very creative bloggers.  Unfortunately I missed the daylight today….after swimming 2km this afternoon I crashed, and slept soundly for a good 3 hours.

So….today, the first of November, I start off my month of artistic blogging with my robotic hat (in progress).  This is the fifth hat of this season, made for members of K-Botics, a high school robotics team that I mentor.  Our hats are unique, each one matching the personality or style of the team member.  They are all knit from blue, purple, black and white, and all have our team number and a robot on them somewhere.

What’s your most crazy/creative hat ideas?  I’m looking to be inspired.

Hard to believe

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

It’s been a year since I’ve been blogging.  In the past year I’ve written 286 blog posts and 19 knitting patterns.  I’ve explored natural dyeing, handspinning, and lots of knitting.  This site has been seen by 19342 unique visitors from 110 countries.

I’ve made friends both near and far…I’ve tweeted, and joined up with several interesting blogging challenges (art every day month, best of 2009, tour de fleece, ravelympics).

And, what I’m most proud of is that I’ve been able to use this site to do some good, and donate $1600 (proceeds from the sales of Olympic Mitten Patterns)to the Penguins Can Fly swim team for disabled youth at our local YMCA.

As winter approaches, think about knitting a pair of Olympic mittens for yourself.

My Blog Find Of The Year: Community

Monday, December 7th, 2009

It all started with Swine Flu back in October.  I was sick, and off work for 8 days waiting for my temperature to go back to normal.  I was stuck in bed knitting when I had the energy to do that, and surfing the net between frequent naps.  Up until that time I regularly read a few knitting blogs like The Yarn Harlot, Brooklyn Tweed and Through The Loops…I was using the blogs and Ravelry as sources of inspiration for my future knitting projects, but I was never an “active participant” in the discussion, hesitant to post comments and make my mark.

My philosophy of reading blogs but not interacting with them changed when my brother Neil (aka ninjarunner) gave me a push to start blogging about what I do.  He told me that there are lots of crafty people out there who might be interested in reading about my addiction to knitting, spinning, weaving and dyeing yarn.  So, with his help, at the end of October I started writing my blog, commenting on other blogs, and using twitter.

I am amazed at how fast I was welcomed, and encouraged by those who read my work, and posted comments; my blog find of the year is community!

I joined the Art Every Day challenge for November hosted by Leah Piken Kolidas, where we were challenged to create art each day, and share our process and results with others via blogs and flickr.  I met so many wonderful, friendly and talented people through this challenge.  People from all over the world, creating all different kinds of art from doodling to quilting, from water colour to haiku, from photography to needlework.  I was inspired, and challenged to live a more creative life for a month, and my creativity was celebrated by the new community that I had joined.  What a fantastic welcome to a brand new blogger.  Thanks so much Leah!

At the end of November, I was sad as one community dissolved, but excited when someone tweeted about the Best of 2009 Blog Challenge led by Gwen Bell.  After seeing the long list of intriguing prompts, I joined up!  I have been welcomed once more into another friendly group of creative thinkers, and inspired by the shared memories, the well crafted stories, the photographs of adventures past, and the thoughtfulness of each response and comment.  I have been having fun reflecting on all my adventures this past year, and considering what I should do next year to keep balance in what could be a very hectic schedule.  Thanks Gwen!

If you had asked me last year if I would ever be a blogger, I would have probably laughed….

Thanks to all who have helped me feel welcome!